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Canadians Now Allowed to Visit Hawaii Quarantine Free, Air Canada and Westjet Restart Direct Flights

Canadians Now Allowed to Visit Hawaii Quarantine Free, Air Canada and Westjet Restart Direct Flights

Sun hungry Canadian’s will soon be saying aloha to Hawaii after governor David Ige gave the green light for Canadian citizens to bypass quarantine restrictions by taking a pre-departure COVID-19 test. The policy was agreed in partnership with Air Canada and WestJet who will both start flying to islands from mid-December. Canadians returning to Canada through Calgary International Airport will also be able to bypass quarantine restrictions with a double test on arrival.

“Many Canadians love to visit Hawai‘i during the winter months to escape the cold weather, so the timing for this works well,” governor Ige told a news conference on Thursday. “Hawai‘i has the most rigorous pre-testing program in the U.S., and we are grateful to Air Canada and WestJet for making it available to their passengers.”

At the same news conference, state officials revealed that over 243,000 passengers had so far been exempted from a 14-day quarantine rule after testing negative for COVID-19 before travelling to the islands. Since the new pre-departure testing program started on October 15, around 7,000 passengers have, however, been placed into quarantine on arrival because they had the wrong type of Coronavirus test before departure.

Passengers travelling to Hawaii must have a negative COVID-19 test certificate dated within 72 hours of departure if they are to avoid quarantine. From November 25, test results will only be accepted from a ‘trusted travel partner’. Governor Ige described the new requirement as an “added safety precaution in response to the dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases on the mainland and around the world.”

So far, pre-departure testing appears to be stopping significant importation of the novel Coronavirus. Of over 17,000 post-travel tests conducted on travellers arriving in Hawaii, only 27 have come back as positive. A positivity rate of just 0.15 per cent.

WestJet said it would partner with DynaLIFE to offer Canadians travelling to Hawaii a pre-departure test at an additional cost of C$150 per passenger. The airline will offer flights from Calgary and Vancouver to Maui and Honolulu.

Air Canada welcomed the decision but did not immediately have additional information about which testing service it would be partnering with. Air Canada plans to offer flights from Vancouver to Maui and Honolulu, and from Calgary to Maui.

“We have long advocated for safe and science-based strategies over blanket quarantines to enable a safe and secure resumption of air travel,” commented Timothy Liu, Air Canada’s managing director for sales planning.

Canadians returning to Calgary International Airport will be able to enrol in a pilot progam to reduce quarantine by as much as 12-days. On arrival, passengers take a COVID-19 test and then self-isolate for up to 48-hours while awaiting their test results. If negative, participants are released from self-isolation and then take a second test on day six or seven. If negative, they face no further restrictions.

Passengers arriving in any other Canadian airport must still self-isolate for a full 14-days.

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